tv [untitled] May 4, 2012 12:30pm-1:00pm PDT
sound investments for the future. to do that, we really want to listen to you which is why we are here today. thank you and look forward to hearing from you. [applause] supervisor chu: thank you. this is a very simple view of the budget and a great summary, but it does speak to of the challenges we face. each of the department's year player role in making sure the budget becomes balanced, so they are all here today to answer questions. we want to hear from you directly so we have people who will be asking their questions. each person will get two minutes. if you would like to have a question answered, your questions should come within the one minute timeframe so we will have time for the department's answer. if you would like to make a statement, me have your full two minutes.
>> first question is from susan. come on up. >> when we were asked to pass an additional amount of money for street improvements, one of the things listed as a problem was the lack of curved cuts around the city. if memory serves, there almost 6000 intersections that did not have curved cuts. why are we spending money all over this neighborhood whipping up perfectly sound sidewalks with existing curbs cuts to replace them with different curved cuts when there are places all over the city that do not have them at all? that is flushing money down the toilet. i do not understand it. >> thank you for having me. we did it pass proposition be bond which allows us to improve the conditions our streets.
their federal standards and so as part of rebuilding our streets, we will be building all of the streets and repaving and rebuilding all of the cuts to standard on the street. we do need to comply with the federal mandate for standards so when you see a curb cut being repaired, it is because we are trying to bring them up to standards. >> i understand that. but wouldn't it be better to put them in places we don't have them now? >> we work closely with the mayor's office of disability and they advise us on the critical areas. just because we have one in a certain location, use is a big concerns we have to prioritize. >> one of the areas we have seen is in the past, we might have
had a rap that was compliant based on previous laws and as the rule change, we had to fix or repair them to come up to the new standards. >> i am with the mayor's office on disability. the city has a transition plan for the public right of way that addresses the curb ramps specifically at we have a rating system where we evaluate all of the different curb ramps. our priority is always on public safety. so what we rate the existing ramps, if they meet a certain threshold, we leave them as they are and put them on the list for a later upgrade. but this failed to pass the safety test, having a lift at the bottom up my cause a wheelchair user to tip over -- we do prioritize of four replacement. we tried to do that in conjunction with other infrastructure upgrades taking place in that neighborhoods
like street repaving programs. >> i am going to read out a few more names and asked if you could line up to be more efficient with our time. [reading names] [applause] >> good morning mayor and supervisors. i am here to represent these seniors for self-help for the community. we are in non-profit based organization and we serve about 25,000 seniors in the bay area. over 90% are low any comment from minority communities. senior services has always been
a very important that the senior population. different social, educational and educational things to decrease but isolation and promote mental health. our senior centers provide 1200 meals to the elderly every day. it has been the most busiest center in san francisco. in district 4, we have over 9000 seniors 65 years or more. we only have one the city-funded new site which we can always serve around 500 seniors each day which means thousands of seniors may not benefit from the senior services. i would like to take this opportunity to thank the officer at park and recreation for providing as a great place for the past 10 years.
however, with limited space and resources, many activities are restrained. the seniors want to find a place to have meals and meet friends and mingle with old friends. but because of the space, they are limited. on behalf of seniors, thank you. with your future support, we are always ready to expand services to make sure all seniors will not be isolated, hungary and lost. these seniors all need you. [applause] >> my name is steve ward and i represent the playa park
neighborhood. we are nearly completed with the park and hope to have some sort of opening eventually. what i really wanted to ask was there is an area i call the sun set, not because it goes the whole length of the sunset from lincoln all the way to sloat. it is about 50 feet wide and it is a huge area. as john over here has said, because of the way it is cut, the bush's hide in cabins and a lot of illegal activity. is an unsafe situation and i want to know if there is some provision in the budget being made so that we can continue to make that area transparent and i think it would help to beautify
the area for walking and for the enjoyment of our favorite. >> i can just answer briefly that we are well aware of the public safety challenges in that area. you are correct that having it well maintained to make sure that area is as safe as we can. the best way to keep not just that area with the west and of a golden gate park safe is through activation projects like bringing more kids. we want more kids and play in that area. >> thank you. i look forward to working with you and muhammed and of the mta because we have issues in regards to that. we are just getting our coalition organized and a look forward to working with the city
in the future. [applause] >> do you want to ask a question? you can do it for right there. >> i have no question. i just came because i'm on the board for west with highland and i love all the different neighborhood associations. that is why many of us choose to live here. i just put that i signed something -- i don't have a question but i would like to have the chance to say thank you to all of you, because this is why we live in san francisco. i really like the idea that our voices can be heard and i wish i had something to say. [applause]
>> , on in. a few others -- if you want to line up. >> i would like to thank you for holding these budget town hall meetings. i formerly represented district 7 on the pedestrian safety advisory committee. i have concerns about the configuration of jfk drive. i am concerned it is not safe for people because i know it is supposed to provide traffic called in. we have a two-way traffic and the traffic going in opposite directions is very close to one another. there is the pathway and the park and a bicycle lane and a small buffer zone and a place for people to park. i feel everything is so small that when a driver has to park,
it is going to stop traffic actually going both ways and it's going to be difficult for the driver to exit the car without endangering himself or herself and when the passenger'' exit, they're supposed to go through the buffer zone which is too small if you have small children who could guard out in to the bicycle lane causing injury to a child or the bicyclist. i have concerns about the current configuration. thank you. >> thank you for that comment. anyone who has been to golden gate park has noticed pretty significant changes. our department has worked closely with both mta and try to model the best practice happening all run the world. it is a separated by claim. while it is confusing right now
and will take some time to understand it and for everyone to figure out the new practice, the idea is to create a safe path for bikers in both directions and to provide pedestrians more access along the trails because right now you have bikers and pedestrians, not dissimilar from the path around lake merced. the idea is to create a dedicated space for bikers. it is a heavily used route through golden gate park. the project is not done yet so what you are seeing is a little confused and hectic. i was talking to the director yesterday about the importance of outreach and education. the safety of our park users comes first and it's something we'll have to continue to work through as we adapt to what will hopefully be a good, safe path
of trouble for us all. >> i just wish you had public safety in to the mayor's disability council as well as the bicycle coalition and others. one of the ideas i had when i was on the committee was something called the bicycle ambassador program. it would actually be you've run by the bicycle coalition itself. they would train bicyclist to be on the street and check on bicyclist currently riding on the street and remind them to follow the rules of the road, not to run red lights, stop it saw signs and yield to pedestrians. -- stop at stop signs. [applause]
>> rim also concerned about public safety. it's a very important issue for people to understand and it needs to be addressed. decrease in the amount of accidents that can happen. thank you. [applause] >> thank you for the opportunity. i have been told in your inauguration address that you spoke about the importance of
jobs and you continue to do so. to "directly, it says to make progress is connected to giving every family the dignity of a paycheck. i would like to speak briefly in support of the community jobs program. it provides a critical funding source for a population of folks trying to transition from welfare to work. we really do need to step up and look to ways to expand this is possible. i understand there is some legislation and development to do that. i look forward to the possibility of working with you to be able to move them forward. i don't know if you want to respond to that >> you can finish, but i like your hat.
>> if you start be on jobs, i'm going to be here all day long. i do support community jobs. that is at the heart of why i think i exist in room 200. every chance i get, that is what motivates me to go to work every day. if i can get somebody a job in any industry -- we are focused on troubled used for summer jobs as well. but creating jobs, especially where the best jobs are ones that really require a college education -- we are trying to create education training centers. i'm not going to just say they hire the best engineers. they also want to hire folks to help design and market. they are going to create job skill centers that hire people to train them, local people.
this is my priority to make sure all of us who live here in this very expensive city get a good shot at the best jobs and we can train people into those skill sets and motivate them as well. that is where we are going. >> i want to express a concern regarding the efforts to be able to bridge this deficit. i keep hearing again and again how our parks are being used as a way to generate more money. the continuing privatization -- i hear this over and over and over again. it really concerns me because all of us do pay taxes and our publics are public -- our parks are public facilities and we should be able to use them a end its stock closed because somebody has rent it for the weekend. i have the managing, coaching,
playing softball in san francisco for more than 30 years. one of my teammates now is telling me and we have over the years, we are paying more. it has leveled off. we have another change this year because some complaints were made about the lights on certain fields going off before the end of the last of softball game. -- softball game. now they have changed the rules. one of the guys sarcastically responded, i remember when there used to be four balls and three strikes. you know? that is not the case in city softball and market i am outreach. i am considering not registering again for next fall's season, because that is just an outrage. thank you. [applause] >> i guess i have been asked to respond. parks and rec, like this it, today. there are still four balls and
three strikes in softball, as far as i can tell. i am happy to understand what your concerns dark regarding the field permit process. in many respects, our parks have not actually been in better shape, despite serious financial challenges. spurre did a study saying to adequately manage our parks system, we would need to add about $30 billion to our operating budget. my staff has been asked to do much more with less. like other departments, we have experienced a general fund cuts over the years. but i am proud of our efforts to actually increase access and programming. we have more recreational programming going on at our rec centers than we have ever had. our scholarship fund, which kutcher years ago we gave away subsidized $80,000 worth of free programs for our kids.
now, thanks to partnerships with dcyf and the school membership and the housing authority, we have given away more than that. we have fewer burgers than we have ever had, and they are being paid as high as they have ever been. we're lucky to be open up playgrounds and facilities like delors park. but the truth is our park system needs funding. we need to decide whether we are going to invest more public money in that, and there are trade-offs. i have heard a lot of need here with the streets and public safety. or whether we're going to pitch in to the best practices and things that other -- that every other urban park system in the country is doing to stay open. the revenues are an important part of our budget. that it is for keeping the programs and facilities open. there is a lot of joy out there, and it is a pleasure to be able
to steward it. >> thank you, phil. [applause] >> we have now exhausted the pre-submitted questions we had, but we still have a little bit of the mayor's time. are there questions that have come up? wow, that was quick. and we have carmen in the back with a microphone, too. >> well, we know we are living in tough times economically. and as -- and as i got out the city, the seniors seek positive things about the suggestion that maybe you could ride free on the muni. we a part of the family. we have raised families. and when you talk to a group of seniors, they come out positively, most of them, about this. however, there is a real fear in the senior community that because of our economic situation, if the youth come
free, the next thing we know the costs for seniors and disabled it goes up. so what i wanted to know is, mr. mayor, are you monitoring that? >> yes. [laughter] i have had quite a few discussions about the free muni. and as you know, the mta is a voting on their budget tuesday with some form of free muni targeted at, i believe, it is low-income youth. but right now they do not believe they can afford, and i have to agree, with their deficit, they do not have the funds nor can they get them through the various government grants and programs to support free muni for all of youth at this time. does not mean it that will not
go in some direction. but actually, in the discussions, i will be candid with you, too. i know we still have a discussion of the board of supervisors about this, because there are very strong feelings in other ways. some of the discussion also might be a little different than what you heard. some people were suggesting -- well, if muni becomes free for youth, maybe that is just the first phase and down the road we can look at how we can help our seniors. so there is also that kind of thought process going on as we monitor this discussion. of course, any time you use the word free, then people would budget responsibilities in at the city are going to say, where is the money coming from? even in your parks, there was a lot of things that used to be free. i remember those days when you could use a field for free. where have those days gone, and who pays for that, and had the
maintain up kkeep with everythig else? we are monitoring this situation. we want to make sure the conversation is one that we can embrace for generations to come, not just what might be of interest right now. we have to actually take care of the unique system for decades to come. so we cannot afford to have an. -- irresponsible discussion about this moving forward more carefully. but we will engage everybody in the process so that -- the hope is that muni never gets unaffordable and still meets our transit needs throughout every place we need to go in the city. that is where we have to make sure this system is strong enough to withstand that and to be our muni system, rather than something that might be ok for some, but for the majority either too expensive or cannot get there or cannot get there in
time. a lot of complications that we are monitoring very carefully. [applause] >> other questions? yes, carmen, you have someone in the back. >> supervisors and a year, i am annie chung, a sunset resident all my life. a lot of the seniors feel unsafe in the intersection of 31st and noriega where the new church, safeway, and a lot of restaurants are. they have been asking mta to do a study to see if you could install a traffic light for them. and the answer is, oh, it will take a long time. bottom line, it is probably not going to be possible. can you make it possible? because a lot of seniors use those streets, and they filled very unsafe.
[cheers and applause] >> thank you. we like to see the kind of energy, especially so early. unfortunately, the mta is not here. we had asked them to come. to try to respond, we will follow up with that question. generally whenever we talk about traffic lights, the cost a lot of money. it costs almost $300,000 for one traffic light, so it is not easy for the state to put one in. particularly with one lane of traffic in both directions. the mta is installing four traffic lights along sunset boulevard. that is a situation where you have three lanes of traffic and directions. so we are prioritizing some of that. especially where self help is, that intersection, we see a lot of seniors passing through on sunset boulevard all the time. so we want to prioritize those big areas where people have to cross the street before some of the smaller areas. on at noriega, we have worked on
traffic islands among other things, so we can ask mta to look at it again and see if there are other alternatives. in terms of a traffic light, we know that our resources are limited and the concentration is on sunset boulevard and some of the very large streets that need that help. so i want to thank you for the question, and we will follow-up. [applause] >> go giants. hello. i am a city hall fellow. i must admit that i am not a resident of four or seven, but i would like to be. i am here today on my birthday to emphasize the importance of increasing housing affordability in the city, particularly for low and middle-income families. as a young person who works in the city and commutes from outside the city, i would -- i so much love the city and am in the process of trying to move here. i think that discussions of
housing affordability must be intimately integrated with discussions of transportation, particularly for the western side of the city. i appreciate the city's focus over the last few weeks, particularly at the board of supervisors, about this issue. i hope i can call myself a district four or seven resident with your support. thank you. [applause] >> we would love to have you. thank you. >> hello. i am nancy, a lifelong resident of district 7 and a member of the board of direction of the lakeshore acres improvement club. my question is about the funding that we get from the state and federal government. how soon do you find out about that? and how does that play into this whole budget? because we saw in the newspaper today that they are cutting grants to the folks that are in graduate school at the california state university assistant. that portends a very dark future
for our youth. if we cannot educate our youth, where is the future of our city and our state. if it is cutting it the state level, which is where we pay the majority of our taxes, and we're not getting our fair share of revenues, how soon are we going to know? thanks. [applause] >> it is a very difficult question. i can say that our deficit projections to assume a $50 million reserve for state and federal cuts, which is larger than we have had in a number of years. there is a difference between federal and state cutting vs services that the city already provides, which is mostly in health and social services, and it is where we see a lot of cuts in terms of reimbursement rates at the department of public health and some of the long-term care money we get at the department of social services. there are also stay